What’s new for trueSKY 4.4 and what will the future holder?

Simul’s trueSKY 4.4 is now available, and it features a brand new UI look and feel, along with numerous performance and quality of life improvements.

Our initial release will be a beta release debuting our Global View and UI updates, which you can try now! We have sped up the rendering of our clouds using an SDF making trueSKY assessible to hardware configuration. There are separate blogs for both of these features coming soon!

Our Platform Rendering library has also been updated to the latest branch. The open source rendering library that powers trueSKY receives continuous updates to support the latest features; Raytracing, VR Multiview, along with performance and memory improvements.

Alongside our SDK release of trueSKY 4.4, we will have plugins for Unreal Engine 5 for UE 5.3. GDC 2024 was only a few weeks ago, and Epic Games unveiled an early preview of UE5.4. We will have trueSKY 4.4 plugins for UE5.4 available as soon as possible after that full release. Our new trueSKY 4.4 UI also appears in our UE plugin, integrating seamlessly between the editor and the plugin.

New Editor – Global View – WGS84 and Eclipses

Throughout trueSKY 4.2 and 4.3, we have supported a global position of the CloudWindow. Now in 4.4, we are going further to support the WGS84 coordinate system. For this feature, lots testing was required to ensure all functionality was correct; such as the position of the sun and moon. In the image below, we are testing the alignment of the sun and moon for the solar eclipse on 8th April 2024. We hope that we can deliver a further update to this to support annular and lunar eclipses.

TrueSKY 4.4 and the new Editor
A trueSKY render of the solar eclipse on 8th April 2024 at 18:17 UTC situated near Torreón, Mexico. Never look directly at the sun without certified eye protection!

Cumulonimbus Clouds – a storm is coming

Customers over the years have asked for easier ways to create gigantic and imposing Cumulonimbus clouds. We are now actively looking to update the way we create these clouds by overhauling our current Cloud Region system. One idea is to add a profile shape to the clouds, to define the wide base and iconic anvil top of Cumulonimbus clouds. We will share more on this when we have examples to show. However, to support this upcoming feature, we have extended the maximum cloud height up to 40km, with more room to grow!

trueSKY 4.4 Documentation

We will be soon be updating our documentation to reflect 4.4. Currently, https://docs.simul.co references trueSKY 4.3, but with various UI and system changes, there are lots of changes needed.
For now, come join our Discord to get the most out of trueSKY 4.4 and show off what you have been creating!

Linux support in 4.4

With the use of GLFW and Dear ImGui in the new Editor, trueSKY now has better compatibility with Linux. We will be testing the new Editor on Linux using the Vulkan API to ensure that Linux users can enjoy using trueSKY and creating spectacular skies, even in Antarctica… 🐧. Look out for an update soon!

For non-Linux users, this update affects you too! We now no longer ship any Qt DLL files with our TrueSkyPluginRenderer DLL, which should simplify the shipping and development of trueSKY. To that end, we have slimmed down the number of binaries that we ship. We only create static library versions now for direct static linking to your binary. For those still wishing to link dynamically, we intend to expand the exported functions in TrueSkyPluginRenderer DLL to cover all previously exported functions in trueSKY 4.3. This change will stop the duplication of library files and the embedding of the C Runtime into our DLLs.

Performance and Stability

Core to any software package is performance and stability, and we will continue to test trueSKY to its limits and we always appreciate customer feedback and bug reports. Despite being a small team, we endeavour to assist, guide and support customers – both Indie and Pro – to help you make the most out of trueSKY! Thank you to all our customers for making trueSKY a reality!

New Video

We have a new YouTube video available! This video was a collaboration with our friends at Polygonflow, with their Unreal Engine plugin Dash. Dash is a great plugin to help with world building, which makes designing a scene intuitive and easier. To celebrate the release of 4.4, Dash are offering an annual licence to their plugin with 55% off when you use code TRUESKY and follow this link.

Check out the the video below for some basic tips and tricks with trueSKY and Dash!

Final thoughts

We are genuinely excited to see where trueSKY will take us next, and trueSKY 4.4 has been a big step in the right direction for us to streamline the speed of development and the delivery of fixes and features. trueSKY is the industry-leading sky and weather rendering package, and we firmly believe that it will enhance your game, simulation or artistic work and help draw audiences into your world.